Google proudly announced that it is helping “bookworms everywhere find gems in the libraries around the world” with a new Library Catalog Search feature in Google Book Search.
Google continues to set its sights on the content of others in furtherance of its mission to “organize” all the world’s information.
Google takes its mission literally; For Google, all the world’s information includes “all books in all languages.” Google aims to be the world’s single virtual depository for access to every single book in the world:
Our ultimate goal is to work with publishers and libraries to create a comprehensive, searchable, virtual card catalog of all books in all languages that helps users discover new books and publishers discover new readers.
How does Google plan on obtaining “all books in all languages”?
Is it purchasing every single book in the world to compensate every single author in the world?
Is it paying not-for-profit libraries for the right to obtain the books they have paid publishers to acquire?
NO. In today’s Google world, it is the Google way, or the highway. What is the Google content acquisition way? Obtain content cost-free and exploit others’ content to Google’s financial advantage.
Google’s uncanny ability to present every one of its encroachments on content ownership, use and distribution as a benevolent gesture at the service of the public good is one of the reasons that Google always “gets a pass” (see “Google: just like your favorite sports team?")
Google’s desire and means to control “all book in all languages,” however, ought to cause pause for even the most ardent of Google fans.
Does Google set content free, or does it restrain, monopolize and commercialize content it obtains, cost-free?
David Eun, VP Content Partnerships for Google, recently entered into an agreement with Robert Dynes, President, University of California providing that:
Google will digitize works from the University Libraries’ collection to include them in Google’s services, and provide access to the digitized works to the University… University agrees to commit no less than two and a half million volumes to the Digitization.
WHAT DOES GOOGLE GAIN?
Ownership of 2.5 million Content Volumes, Cost-Free to Google
Google shall own all rights, title and interest in and to the Google Digital Copy.
Use of 2.5 million Content Volumes, Cost-Free to Google
Google may use the Google Digital Copy, in whole or in part at Google’s sole discretion, subject to copyright law, as part of the Google Services.
WHAT DOES UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA GAIN?
No-Fee Digitization Services
Google agrees to provide to University access to one copy of all Digitized Selected Content that has been ‘Successfully Processed’ within thirty days after the Selected Content is Digitized.
Ownership and Use of Individual Digitized Volumes
University shall own all rights, title and interest to the University Digital Copy.
WHAT USE and DISTRIBUTION LIMITATIONS IS UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SUBJECT TO?
University shall develop methods and systems for ensuring that substantial portions of the University Digital Copy are not downloaded from the services offered on University’s website or otherwise disseminated to the public at large.
University shall not share, provide, license, distribute or sell the Image Coordinates to any entity in any manner.
University shall have the right to distribute no more than 10% of the University Digital Copy (but not any portion of the Image Coordinates)…for academic purposes.
Any distribution by University to a Recipient Institution is subject to a written agreement.
What are the implications?
CNET cited Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle earlier this month in “Google and U.C. sign contract to digitize books”:
he criticized the school for ‘privatizing its library system’ by agreeing to Google's limitations on distributing and sharing copies of digitized books. ‘They're effectively giving their library to a single corporation. Having a public institution decide to go with Google's restrictions doesn't help the idea of libraries being open in the future.’